Optoma UK

Insight, commentary and discussions on the AV and projection industry, with the odd ‘how to’ article thrown in for good measure

The wide world of edge blending

You want to get an extra wide image across the wall - then you’ll probably need to combine two or more projected images to make a single seamless image. This is called edge blending.

The images are firstly overlapped and then visually joined together using an edge blending processor/software, such as the Optoma Chameleon GB-200.  Once these are blended, it is imperative the projectors do not move. If they do, your edge blend will come out of alignment.

So, before you start there are a number of factors to consider.

•    Partition walls, mezzanine floors and suspended ceilings are not ideal environments as they are subject to movement and vibration.
•    Large open spaces such as exhibition halls may get air movement, which may affect alignment.
•    Long mounting arms will amplify any movement so should be avoided.
•    Content resolution needs to match that of the projected resolution. Content with a resolution dissimilar to the combined native resolution of the blended projectors will make set-up more complex and cause the image to be stretched or distorted.
•    Have a minimum overlap percentage of 20% and avoid text on the overlapped areas.
•    Avoid people touching the projectors.  Can visitors reach the installation? Would cleaners or contractors on site knock the projectors?

Further help
Take a look at our handy guide.

Or to see a step-by-step video tutorial of edge blending using the Chameleon GB-200 visit the Optoma EMEA YouTube channel:
•   Manual blend of two or more projectors
•   Auto blend for two projectors

Why Amazing Colour creates vibrant, long-lasting and accurate colours

 

Optoma announced this week the integration of Amazing Colour technology into its latest projectors. The combination of advanced colour technology and multiple settings in all Optoma projectors, from entry level to high resolution, creates precise, true-to-life colours which do not fade.  

Outstanding colour precision
Optoma projectors deliver accurate sRGB/ Rec. 709 colours for true-to-life visuals. This provides precise detailed images with more realistic and natural looking colours. Perfect for business presentations, education, films and photography - where detail really matters.

Tailored visual experience
Equipped with multiple display modes, Optoma projectors give users the freedom to choose the best setting for the content. Each mode has been fine-tuned by Optoma’s colour expert team to ensure superior colour performance.

Superior detail
Optoma projectors deliver high ANSI contrast. This means the projector is far superior at differentiating between dark and light content within the same image - providing crisp, intense and saturated colours.

Colour guarantee
Optoma guarantees colour will never fade on its projectors so users can enjoy consistent colour performance for years to come.

Multi-colour processing technology
DLP® BrilliantColor™ technology raises the bar in colour performance and picture quality. This multi-colour processing technology provides a wider colour gamut, making it possible to produce over one billion colours. It supports the continuous processing of RGB (red, green, blue) colours along with yellow, cyan, and magenta. This gives realistic colour reproduction, particularly evident in skin tones.

Amazing Colour technology offers better colour performance to match any application or environment – whether for business, education or home entertainment. For more information on Optoma Amazing Colour technology, visit: www.optoma.co.uk/Amazing_Colours and watch the Amazing Colours video

Laser-phosphor technology: science fiction now science fact

Laser-phosphor technology is advancing rapidly. But what is it, what are the advantages of this technology and for what applications is it best suited?

There are many advantages of lamp-less laser-phosphor light source technology.  For example:
•    There is no lamp and therefore maintenance requirements are minimal
•    Brightness is more consistent than lamp-based projectors, which are subject to brightness fluctuations as the lamp is used (brightness decay) and replaced
•    It is quieter due to higher efficiency and so less requirement for cooling
•    Colour reproduction is brilliant
•    Due to the solid state light engine, the projector is able to operate in unusual positions, including portrait and downward projection

As a result of these benefits, laser-phosphor projectors are ideal for venues where ceilings are high and the projector is fairly inaccessible for maintenance, such as university lecture theatres, digital signage applications and museums/professional installations where usage hours tend to be higher and there are accessibility/maintenance restrictions.

It is also ideal for quieter environments such as smaller meeting rooms or those with low ceilings.

With such a wide choice of projectors – lamp-based, LED and laser - it is important to look at the application and venue to ascertain whether a laser-phosphor projector is the best solution.

If the projector is needed for lengthy usage with minimal downtime or the projector would be fairly inaccessible after installation, then this may be the best option.  

Also if colour accuracy is important, it may also be the best choice – although the colour performance of lamp-based DLP projectors varies with the type of colour wheel used. Some, like Optoma’s EH7700, provide colour wheels options so the colour performance and brightness can be tailored to the application – so it is important to look at all factors.

Optoma has recently expanded its range of laser-phosphor ProScene projectors with the 6,000-lumen ZU650 and the ultra-wide short throw, ZH300W.

The technical bit
Unlike the laser beams you may have seen in Bond films, no raw laser light is emitted from the lens of the projector.  So how does it work and what is the difference between laser and laser-phosphor projectors?

With a pure laser - the red, green and blue light from three laser diode arrays (one each for red, green and blue) is combined then passed through an optical diffuser. It is this diffused light that is used to illuminate the projector’s DLP chip and produce the image.
 
A laser-phosphor projector is slightly different in that it uses one blue laser.  This blue light is diffused and used as the blue light component to illuminate the DLP chip. The blue laser is also used to energise a phosphor wheel that emits yellow light. This is then split into its red and green components and used to illuminate the DLP chip.

How 3D glasses work

When considering a purchase of a 3D TV or Projector, people often neglect to research what type of 3D technology their prospective purchase uses.

Here at Optoma we thought we’d break-down the two 3D glasses technologies available and give you a run-down on what each technology is called and what they do to produce a 3D image.

3D glasses work by displaying a different image to each eye. Our brain then merges each image into one, but with 3D characteristics. This, in turn, “dupes” our brains into thinking that it is seeing an image in 3D, so it creates an image with depth for you.

3D-enabled TVs and projectors work by receiving a 3D signal that gets encoded and sent in a few different ways. The TV or projector has a decoder that takes the 3D signal and shows the left and right eye information as one image that looks slightly blurry when viewed without 3D glasses. The image is an overlapped image of the left and right eye signal. When you wear the appropriate glasses, they separate each image to the corresponding eye to deliver a 3D image.

 

Types of 3D Glasses

There are two types of 3D glasses – Passive Polarized & Active Shutter. Both achieve their 3D visuals in a different way.

Passive Polarized glasses look a lot like sunglasses, not unlike what you get when you visit the movies. They are lightweight and have ample space to accommodate normal glasses underneath if the viewer requires them.

The TV or projector has a special filter that polarizes each line of pixels. This filter makes the odd lines on the screen only visible to the left eye, and the even lines only visible to the right. Your brain then interprets the image as a 3D image. Without the glasses, the image looks normal. One caveat to this system is that the image is not full 1080p as it halves the amount of pixels visible.

Active Shutter glasses use batteries and a transmitter that syncs with the rapidly moving shutters for each eye with the on-screen display.

The 3D image resolution is the same as the 2D image displayed on the same screen. This is because the left and right eye images are shown in sequence rather than at the same time. The 3D glasses sync with the TV or projectors refresh rate to sequence the images that produce a 3D image to the viewer.

 

Optoma 3D Glasses

All of the projectors we produce at Optoma are active 3D. They can however be converted to passive 3D if required with the use of a silver screen and a passive 3D filter.

At Optoma, we manufacture two different types of Active 3D glasses:

ZD302 – These glassed incorporate DLP Link™ technology which use line of sight to the screen to produce a 3D image. If you look away and then back to the screen, the glasses will display a very slight stutter as they re-sync with the projector.

ZF2300 – These 3D glasses use RF (Radio Frequency) technology to sync with the projector. RF synchronization eliminates any potential sync issues and many glasses can be paired to the same projector. As these glasses need an RF emitter to function you will need a “ZF2300 starter kit” that includes an emitter and a pair of glasses.

Projecting the future of retail

We are just back from the Retail Design Expo where we were showing off our projection solutions to retailers from across the UK.  With our partners Projection Artworks and Texas Instruments, we wowed visitors with projection mapped displays using Optoma’s LED and laser DLP projectors on sportswear, luxury goods including watches, technology products and FMCG.  

Projection mapping allows digital content to be applied on or around physical products or spaces.  Research has shown this makes a 41% increase in sales when compared to stores without projection.*

Laser and LED DLP projectors are now a cost effective retail display option. Projections can be daylight visible and maintenance costs for bulbs replacement have been eradicated through LED and laser technology which can provide an astonishing 20,000 hours of impressive, virtually maintenance-free operation.

Optoma's laser and LED projectors

Optoma projectors use DLP technology pioneered by Texas Instruments. This uses millions of mirrors to produce high quality imagery which does not suffer colour degradation over time, as sometimes experienced in other projector technologies.

The event saw UK debut of DisplayMapper that is set to change the face of retail.  DisplayMapper is the world’s first cloud-based, projection-mapping, content management and projector control system which has made global, scalable retail projection rollouts possible. Having created retail projection showstoppers like Harrods’ Faberge installation, Projection Artworks developed DisplayMapper for retailers that want to recreate this type of next-generation ‘magic’ on a smaller and more affordable scale. 

Retailers also saw a new dynamic solution for stores that can sweep marketing messages and imagery across their shop floor, wall and ceilings.  The Mirror Head from the Dynamic Projection Institute comprises a high-tech mirror that is digitally operated and can move either rapidly or slowly to project pictures, videos and text onto any surface.  

Tom Burch from Projection Artworks, Justin Halls from Optoma and Rob Hollands from creative agency Anthem hosted a session at the event’s main theatre to challenge ‘flat panel thinking’.  They shared how a recent POS retail experience installed in a major supermarket stimulated customer engagement and increased sales. 

*Based on Asda/Nestle trial in 10 stores Q4 2015

ISE 2016: OUR BEST BITS IN A NUTSHELL

We’re back from ISE. Thanks to everyone that came to see us during the four-day show. For those that missed the event, we thought we’d do a round-up of the best bits.

 World’s first 4K LED HLD was the star of the show

People were fascinated by the world’s first 4K LED HLD projector on our stand – not just because they could see all the components that make up a projector through the clear casing (which was really rather cool) – but because the colours in the projected image were pretty spectacular.

 This demonstration, produced in partnership with Texas Instruments and Phillips, showed the colour performance and accuracy that is produced from DLP projectors. It is no wonder that 80% of cinemas throughout the world use DLP projectors because of their image quality and colour accuracy!

Our second 4K demo showed a prototype ultra-high definition (UHD) display using the single-chip DLP design. This delivers more than eight million pixels to the screen with the millions of mirrors in the DLP chip capable of switching over 9,000 times per second. Impressive stuff!

PureTech Racing simulator was a blast!

The F1 full motion racing simulator from PureTech Racing proved to be a real crowd-puller. It combined ultra-realistic motion generation with a seamless curved display projected from three ultra mobile LED ML750e projectors.

Loads of visitors (including Optoma’s own James Fitzgerald) spun off unable to complete a full lap where others mastered the corners and chicanes and shrugged off the G force to put in very respectable lap times. 1st prize each day was a pair of Optoma NuForce BE6 wireless Bluetooth earphones, 2nd prize NE800M earphones and 3rd prize NE750M earphones. Winners* were:

Tuesday 9 February

1st Taco van Sambeek (1:10.276)

2nd Günter Lemberger (1:10.554)

3rd Dario Stancich (1:13. 824).

Wednesday 10 February

1st Dario Stancich (1:07.138)

2nd Liudas Vastakas (1:07.306)

3rd Matthew George Wilson-Taylor (1:09.676)

Thursday 11 February

1st Alex Germanis (1:08.060)

2nd Giuseppe Ferrarelli (1:09.438)

3rd Andika Pratama (1:10.102)

Friday 12 February

1st Dario Stancich (1:07.852)

2nd Lorenzo Savadori (1:09.374)

3rd Kasper Rasmussen (1:10.628)

 

Projectors going where flat screens couldn’t possibly follow!

There were loads of great ideas for retailers to create eye-catching displays.

Dynamic Projection Institute’s Mirror Head took the imagery from Optoma’s new ProScene ZU650 laser-phosphor projector and swooped it around visitors’ feet - grabbing their attention and literally stopping them in their tracks.

Super-size digital signage was created from two stacked 12,000 lumen projectors to create a 24,000-lumen ultra-bright 5 x 3.5 metre display that would be capable of continuous 24/7 operation. You’d never get a flat panel that size around a corner!

But it was the daylight-visible window displays and interactive product showcases that really captured people’s imaginations. Projection Artworks, the UK’s leading pioneer in projection-based retail solutions, showed off its Display Mapper software that applies animated content onto and around products - proven to generate greater engagement and sales to the shop floor. Virtual popcorn spilled out and down the stand and a watch came alive with geometric lines marching across its face.

Now, you can’t do any of that with an LCD flat screen!

Chilling out in the home zone

Visitors took a much-needed rest on our comfy sofas to watch live demonstrations of the ultra short throw projector, the GT5500 and the award-winning HD28DSE projector, which is engineered with DARBEE Visual Presence™ technology.

In this home zone they could also see Optoma’s expanded range of NuForce audio products including a new super-small DSD DAC and headphone amp - the uDAC5 – which was unveiled on Monday.

Please DO touch the exhibits!

People were invited to have a play with the finger touch interactive displays in the corporate and education area of the stand. At one point there were more than 20 people at the board writing their names, drawing cartoons and happily doodling.

The ultra-wide imagery came from Optoma’s new ultra-short throw laser-phosphor ZH300UW projector. Using a solid-state laser-phosphor light engine instead of traditional projector lamps, produces a brightness of 3,000 lumens and eliminates the need for any replacement lamps.

ISE 2016 took place 9-12 February at the RAI Exhibition Centre in Amsterdam. Optoma’s partners include:

BRD Simulation Racing Technology/ PureTech Racing. BRD is well known within the motorsport industry for the credibility of its award winning simulator technology. For more than 20 years it has researched, designed developed and produced a constantly evolving range of motorsport simulation tools for the motorsport industry and advanced simulator racing centres. www.puretechracing.com

Dynamic Projection Institute develops innovative media technology for architecture, design, fashion and arts. Its key products are the Mirror Head and the MDC, Media on Demand Control, Media Console. www.dynamicprojection.com

Projection Artworks is the UK’s leading pioneer in projection-based retail solutions. With more than ten years’ experience in projections both large and small, it specialises in daylight-visible window displays, interactive product showcases and innovative POS concepts. www.projectionartworks.com

Texas Instruments is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company. It pioneered DLP® technology, which is used in all Optoma projectors. This uses millions of mirrors to produce high quality imagery which does not suffer colour degradation over time, as sometimes experienced in other projector technologies. www.ti.com/dlp

Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity.” Philips ColorSpark HLD LED projection system lets you see everything on the screen in sharp definition and clear colours. Its new technology emits four times the light of current LED technology, making the screen up to three times brighter while still keeping brilliant colour performance. www.philips.com/newscenter

 * Drivers with more than one top three time during ISE won one prize only.

Kitting out your boardroom: saving money in the long run



With the onward advancement of technology and the increase in expectations, a flipchart and pen simply doesn’t cut the mustard for business meetings any longer.

Technology now allows us access files, work collaboratively on screen and stream data wirelessly.  Upgrading your meeting room technology can seem like a costly investment but making meetings more effective can have big payoffs in terms of increased productivity and more efficient group collaborations.

Is your business taking advantage of the tools that it could be using that could save you money in the long run?

BYOD
What is becoming increasingly expected of businesses is for visitors and clients involved in meetings to be able to bring in a device (whether it’s a tablet, laptop or smartphone) and connect seamlessly to your display equipment. It is important that the projector in your boardroom or meeting rooms can accommodate this.

Working together
New interactive functionality in projectors allows several people to work simultaneously on the screen without using a pen. It is easy to annotate on the projected image, open Microsoft office files or web browsers and interact with the content without even touching a computer. 

This ability to work collaboratively on documents and presentations in meetings is a real asset to companies.  The work can be saved to a computer and distributed to participants and non-attendees after the meeting.

Conferencing
Conferencing equipment is essential for companies that regularly meet with people in different geographic locations.  Face-to-face meetings remain important but installing conferencing equipment gives you and your clients the possibility to slash travel costs and staff travelling time.

Around 1.8bn hours of Skype video calls are made each year with an increasing number of these coming from business conferences and video meetings.  Data conferencing lets you share text, images and data in real time. Videoconferencing uses telephone or data lines to transmit audio and video. A projector allows you to share content in your meeting on a super-size screen.  A large flat screen display would cost significantly more than a projector to achieve the same image size.

Going wireless
Using tablets and mobile devices as the interface between the presenter and the on-screen presentation is becoming ever more popular. Whether it’s controlling a slideshow, pulling up and manipulating data or simply used as a script/prompt for reference data, tablets are changing the boardroom and improving the way we conduct meetings.

Most projectors now have wireless functionality to stream data from mobile devices using wireless HDMI devices such as the Optoma WHD200 or Google Chromecast or Optoma’s mini WiFi dongle. 

Future proof your investment

It is important to future proof any investment in equipment.  Review the inputs and outputs you might need. Look at what sources you are using now but also what you might want to use in the future.  Most new computers and laptops have HDMI outputs enabling Full HD 1080p resolution.  Multiple HDMI inputs in your projector allow you to switch between sources easily. 

There is a growth now in HDbasedT functionality.  HDBaseT not only allows data to be sent over a much greater distance than HDMI but can also carry HD video, audio, ethernet, power and control on a single cable.  This significantly cuts down the number of cables needed for a typical business installation.

Optoma has a range of business projectors that have wireless, interactive and HDbasedT functionality.  Most have internal speakers avoiding the cost of installing external speakers.  They also include audio output if an external sound system is required. 

Most of these can be controlled remotely with full support is provided for Crestron, Extron, AMX, PJ-Link and Telnet LAN protocols. Once installed, the projector can be monitored and controlled over LAN.

Kitting out your boardroom is not just about impressing customers – it also makes financial sense.  It can save time and money by reducing off-site meetings and installing future proofed equipment in your boardrooms gives your team the tools to work more effectively.

Sound business sense

Research has shown that background music while working improves business productivity – so it makes sound business sense to get a decent pair of earphones.

MusicWorks commissioned research that analysed productivity in the office when listening to one of four musical genres.

It found that listening to music has a positive effect on workers’ productivity - radically improving speed and accuracy of tasks such as data entry, proof reading and problem solving skills.

When listening to a selection of different genres, classical music was found to be the most effective for improving the accuracy of tasks and resolving everyday mathematical problems, with participants achieving a 73% pass rate.

When listening to pop music, 58% of participants completed data entry tasks much faster.

When proof-reading, dance music had the most positive impact, with participants increasing their speed by 20% compared to proof-reading tests undertaken with no music at all. Dance music also had a positive effect on spell-checking, with a 75% pass rate, compared to 68% when no music was played at all.

Whether listening to music while at work or on the daily commute; watching films on a flight; or just making calls from the mobile, business people can get better sound quality with Optoma Nuforce’s new NE750M and NE800M earphones.  These ultra-lightweight earphones offer a substantial upgrade from the standard earphones that come with smartphones or music players.

Both earphones come with a range of earbud sizes to ensure a snug, slip-free fit that minimises ambient noise and provides the best possible sound quality. This also makes them ideal for taking to the gym after work.

That all makes sound business sense.

* The experiment required 26 participants to undertake a series of on-line tasks 5 days in a row. The tasks were slightly different each day, but always included spell checking, equation solving, maths word problems, data entry and abstract reasoning tasks. Each day participants were either asked to listen to a playlist as background music (genres: dance, ambient, classical and pop) or not listen to music.

Projector technology now has greater connectivity than ever


Projectors have progressed so much since the distant days of dusty acetate sheets on OHPs.  They now have the technology to display from the latest devices and can project a super-sized 100-inch picture on a screen or wall from just a metre away.

As well as computers, set top boxes, Blu-Ray and DVD players, you can now project straight from mobile phones and tablets, stream content from Roku, Apple TV and Google Chromecast, share photographs and video directly from cameras and camcorders, present straight from a USB stick and connect to the latest games consoles.

But it is not just the connectivity that has improved, they are designed to simply plug and play – dispelling the myth that projectors are difficult to set up.

When choosing a projector, you should look at which devices you would like to connect it with.

Multiple HDMI ports make it easy to switch between sources at the touch of a button.

MHL allows a projector to be turned it into a smart display by connecting a smartphone or tablet with a single cable to play games, stream videos and share photos on the big screen.

USB Plug and Play allows presentations to be viewed straight from a USB stick.

Most projectors have optional wireless.  This uses a WiFi dongle to allow you to connect and display presentation materials wirelessly from a laptop, PC or Mac and mobile device.

Full 3D projectors can display true 3D content from 3D Blu-Ray players, 3D broadcasting and the latest generation games consoles.

Many Optoma projectors have powerful built-in speakers which save you the cost and time of installing external speakers.  But you still have the option of connecting to external sound systems through the audio output if you want the cinema quality surround sound.

The projector is not just for offices and schools.  You can get a super-size screen at home to play action-packed games or watch TV shows, live sports and movies.  And with the short throw option allowing you to place the projector so close to the screen, it is suitable for small or large rooms.


1080p for business: don’t compromise on quality

Five reasons why you shouldn’t compromise when it comes to the quality of your business presentations.

Keep the attention of your audience
Brighter, clearer and sharper imagery will help you to keep the attention of your audience.*

The right price

Technology has developed so much that your business can have the perfect picture quality at an affordable price.

Project quality

Low resolution projectors will not be as crisp and clear as high resolution 1080p models. Projecting the highest quality imagery will reflect the quality of your business and your brand values.

Go big
The higher the resolution of the projector, the bigger your imagery can be.  This means you can have big, bright picture performance with vivid colours in any boardroom, meeting room or office space.

Easy connectivity

New 1080p business projectors use the latest technology ensuring easy connectivity, the ability to present wirelessly and compatibility with other technologies such as Google Chromecast.


*Optoma is 100% confident on the quality of bright vivid imagery from its 1080p business projectors but cannot guarantee the content of presentations is not dull.